Court Says Deputy Used Force on Student
By Alabama Public Radio
Tuscaloosa, AL – A federal appeals court has reversed the dismissal of a lawsuit that claimed a Tuscaloosa County deputy used excessive force on a 10-year-old girl. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta reinstated the lawsuit that was filed by the girl's mother, Toniko Alexander. Alexander claims that Deputy Antonio Bostic handcuffed her daughter, Laquarius Gray, for 10 minutes after the child had a disagreement with a Holt Elementary School physical education teacher. Alexander says Bostic violated her daughter's constitutional rights. A district court dismissed the lawsuit against Bostic and County Sheriff Ted Sexton based on their immunity as state officials. But the appeals court says state officials are not protected by immunity when they violate constitutional rights. They say handcuffing the girl was a violation of her Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure.